When Students Come Back

I enjoy this time of year between Thanksgiving and Winter Break because former students are back in town and they often come to visit. It is fun to hear how students are doing after graduation with their new found independence, and learn about their college experience so far. Their stories are lively, and feeling their excitement for their new life is rewarding. 

This week I had my sibling, a former student, teach an art lesson to my current class. They have been an artist their entire life and they are now in art school, thriving. They came to class with a carefully thought out lesson plan on how to sketch animals, and brought materials and everything you would need to teach a high school art class. They even had extra pens in their pocket, in a very art school way, ready to be used. I was super impressed. 

They started their lesson by sharing their journey to art school with the class. They are an illustration major that focuses on concept design, in hopes of designing video game characters one day. They had funny and engaging stories to share from art school, saying that their first quarter in illustration class the professor assigned them to draw 32 cups to learn how to draw the perfect ellipsis. We laughed together at how basic that seems, but also realized that it is an important skill in illustration.

It was so fun to watch my sibling teach my current students. They stood at the board explaining balance, composition, and shading in ways non-artists like me could understand. They answered questions, and walked over to help individuals when needed. My students were really engaged in the lesson and I thought to myself, “Wow, they are a natural teacher!” a side of them I had never seen before. 

After the lesson, my students agreed that they wanted to do more art again. The class asked for another lesson to learn how to draw people. I love to reward curiosity, so I am going to do my best to arrange another lesson while my sibling is in town. 

As an educator, I want my students to be successful while in high school, but the ultimate goal is for students to shine after. It was wonderful to see how much my former student is blossoming in college. I am a proud sister. 

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